Councilor Kevin Price, the City’s Deputy Leader and its Executive Councillor for Housing, has said that the housing speech today from the Prime Minister, Theresa May, offered no new solutions to the housing crisis and ignored the vital role of local authorities in providing new social homes.
Speaking after the speech, Councillor Price said: ” The speech today did nothing except recycle last year’s Housing White Paper and offers nothing new to actually fix the broken housing market.”
“The government continues to focus almost solely on home ownership whilst failing to understand or even acknowledge that leaves the housing market in the hands of profit driven developers. It’s not a solution to ask developers to play nicely and grow a social conscience when their responsibility is first and foremost to their investors, shareholders and company directors. It’s not just that developers won’t step up, it’s that the government are ignoring those who would, and want to, step up. I agree with the Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association, Gary Porter, who has spoken for all councils in saying that the solution lies in giving councils the borrowing and investment freedoms they need to lead a renaissance in building social housing and stop social housing being rationed to the poorest in our communities.”
“It’s frustrating to listen to the same tired policies being trotted out again and again. The use of viability assessments since 2013 has spawned an industry devoted to ensuring developer profit at the expense of ‘affordable homes’ on major developments. The revival of Right to Buy since 2012 has further decimated existing social housing stock and what there is left is threatened by the frankly absurd plans to force councils to sell off even more stock to pay for housing association tenants to buy their social homes at a discount. Nothing will change unless these things are changed and councils start being regarded as key partners for government in the housing crisis.”